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Goal! How To Watch the World Cup in 2022

Things are heating up in Qatar this winter, and we don’t just mean temperature-wise. That’s because the Middle Eastern country is also home to this year’s World Cup, a.k.a. that once-every-four-years tournament featuring the best soccer players footballers around.

If you’re planning on taking a few sick days to watch the matchups or are plotting your social calendars around the games, you aren’t alone. The World Cup is a hot ticket — roughly 3.57 billion people (half the global population aged four and over) caught the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Heading into Qatar, experts predict there could be up to five million people tuning into these games.

At home, that viewership has actually increased during the 2022 World Cup. As of November 30, Fox Sports reported a 44 percent improvement in viewers compared to the same time in the 2018 tournament. Of course, the fact that the US team had some early success and is now heading to the Round of 16 has helped pique that interest. 

Not all viewers are catching the matchups on cable, though. So you’re also not alone if you’re wondering how to watch the World Cup online for free. While all English audio games will air on Fox or FS1 (and all the Spanish audio games are on Telemundo or Universo), some options are available to those without cable.

From streaming services to streaming services with free trials, read on to learn how to watch the World Cup online in 2022, especially now as we prepare to take in the Round of 16 when it kicks off on December 3.

  

1. Hulu + Live TV

BEST OPTION

Access Fox and FS1 with a Hulu + Live TV subscription. We like that you can watch two screens simultaneously, so everyone can watch something they like even if you have non-soccer lovers in the house. Plus, there’s access to an unlimited cloud DVR, so if you need to work (or sleep) while an anticipated game takes place, at least you can record it and catch it later.

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Courtesy of Hulu
  • What you get: Access to Fox and FS1
  • Cost: $64.99 per month
  

2. YouTube TV

RUNNER-UP

This is another great option if you’re looking for the experience of cable without the actual cable. YouTube TV’s base plan includes Fox and FS1, so you’re covered with all the soccer you need. The service also features an unlimited could DVR, and you can watch it on up to three devices at a time. With this option, you can watch some of the World Cup online for free; new subscribers can take advantage of the 14-day free trial.

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Courtesy of YouTube TV
  • What you get: Access to Fox and FS1
  • Cost: $64.99 per month
  • Review: YouTube TV
  

3. Sling TV

INEXPENSIVE

Sling TV is another viable alternative if you’re wondering how to watch the world cup without cable. Fox and FS1 are both available under the Blue plan, which runs you about $35 a month. New subscribers can take advantage of the seven-day free trial, or you could upgrade your overall plan to Blue and Orange, which gives you even more channels for just $50 a month. With either package, you’ll get 50 hours of cloud DVR, and anything on Sling TV Blue is available to stream on up to three devices at once.

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Courtesy of Sling
  • What you get: Access to Fox and FS1
  • Cost: From $35 per month
  

4. Vidgo

RUNNER-UP

You can watch anything on Fox and FS1 with the Premium ($79.95 per month) and the Plus ($59.95 per month) packages on Vidgo, giving you access to all the World Cup coverage you need. Unfortunately, only 20 hours of Cloud DVR are included (and you can only use that DVR space for the first 90 days with the Plus package). The service allows you to use up to three devices at once, and new customers can check it all out for free with the seven-day free trial.

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Courtesy of Vidgo
  • What you get: Access to Fox and FS1
  • Cost: From $59.95 per month

  

5. DirecTV Stream

MOST STREAMS

If you’ve got DirecTV Stream or are considering signing up to watch the World Cup, you’ll be happy to know that all available plans include Fox and FS1. The great news is that DirecTV allows up to 20 compatible devices to be connected to your home network simultaneously, and three of those streams can be on the go. That means you can catch the World Cup even if you’re stuck at the office or with the in-laws. If you can’t find a quiet place to tune in, the service also comes with an unlimited cloud DVR, which new users can check out during the included five-day free trial.

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Courtesy of DirecTV Stream
  • What you get: Access to Fox and FS1
  • Cost: $69.99 per month
  

6. Peacock

SPANISH AUDIO

If you’re wondering how to watch the World Cup without cable or a pricy, cable-like service, Peacock may be a good alternative. If you don’t mind watching the matches in Spanish, that is. Those with a Peacock Premium subscription have access to Spanish broadcasts of all 64 World Cup 2022 games, plus on-demand broadcasts of previous games from the tournament. Customers can stream games on three devices simultaneously. However, no cloud DVR capabilities exist, so if you tune in mid-game, you can’t start at the beginning. There’s also no free trial, although the basic, ad-based service is free with a subscription.

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Courtesy of Peacock
  • What you get: Access to Spanish-language broadcasts
  • Cost: $9.99 per month for Peacock Premium
  

7. fuboTV

EXTENDED EXPERIENCE

Fox and FS1 are both available to stream with a fuboTV plan, but diehard fans will enjoy that the streamer has also acquired live streaming rights for all World Cup 2022 Qualifiers. Additionally, fuboTV has plans to produce accompanying original programming, including pre, half-time and post-match shows to air throughout the World Cup. You can watch it all from three devices simultaneously, the plans come with 1,000 hours of cloud DVR, and you can check it all out for free during the five-day free trial.

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Courtesy of FuboTV
  • What you get: Access to Fox and FS1
  • Cost: $64.99 per month
  

8. Fox Sports App

FREE OPTION

Another way to watch the World Cup online this year is through the Fox Sports App. You will need to have a subscription to another service to access content, but if you have a friend or family member who is willing to share, it could be a free alternative. You can use the app with android devices, Apple TV and Fire TV, plus it provides extra content throughout the tournament. The only downside is you’ll still have to catch everything live.

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Courtesy of Fox Sports
  • What you get: Access to Fox and FS1 games
  • Cost: Free to download
  

When is the World Cup 2022?

The Qatar World Cup 2022 kicked off on Sunday, November 20, and runs until Sunday, December 18. Notably, this is the first men’s World Cup to take place outside the sport’s traditional summer window. FIFA moved the tournament to avoid making its players participate during the country’s scorching summer months.

The players are competing across eight stadiums, each within an hour’s drive of one another. According to some, Qatar is believed to have spent more than $220 billion to host the event, which is expected to give the country a $20 billion economic boost.

  

Who is Competing in the Group Stages at the World Cup 2022?

Eight groups are participating in this year’s World Cup. According to FIFA, the World Cup group phase draw took place in Doha, Qatar, on April 1, 2022. Then, the final three qualification places were filled in June. At that time, Wales, Australia and Costa Rica earned the final spots in the 32-team lineup.

Group A

  • Qatar
  • Ecuador
  • Senegal
  • Netherlands

Group B

  • England
  • IR Iran
  • USA
  • Wales

Group C

  • Argentina
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Mexico
  • Poland

Group D

  • France
  • Australia
  • Denmark
  • Tunisia

Group E

  • Spain
  • Costa Rica
  • Germany
  • Japan

Group F

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Morocco
  • Croatia

Group G

  • Brazil
  • Serbia
  • Switzerland
  • Cameroon

Group H

  • Portugal
  • Ghana
  • Uruguay
  • Korea Republic

Who is Competing in the Round of 16 at the World Cup 2022?

During the initial phase of the tournament, each team played the others in their division once, with the Top 2 teams from each division moving on. That means when the Round of 16 kicks off on December 3, half the teams have been officially eliminated from the World Cup. Now, it’s time to quell that competition even further with the Round of 16. 
 
During the single-elimination round, first-place finishers will face off against second-place finishers from another division. Those that win move on to the Top 8. Those who don’t will need to pack up their souvenirs and go home. 
 
So who is competing in the Round of 16? Here’s the new groupings and schedule (in Eastern Time):

December 3 at 10 a.m.: Group A 1st (Netherlands) vs Group B 2nd (USA)

December 3 at 2 p.m.: Group C 1st (Argentina) vs Group D 2nd (Australia)

December 5 at 10 a.m.: Group E 1st (TBD) vs Group F 2nd (Croatia)

December 6: Group G 1st (TBD) vs Group H 2nd (TBD)

December 4 at 2 p.m.: Group B 1st (England) vs Group A 2nd (Senegal)

December 4 at 10 a.m.: Group D 1st (France) vs Group C 2nd (Poland)

December 6 at 10 a.m.: Group F 1st (Morocco) vs Group E 2nd (TBD)

December 7: Group H 1st (TBD) vs Group G 2nd (TBD)

How to Watch the World Cup Online for Free?

While there are no official venues to watch the World Cup for free, you could stack free trials from several providers above to access most of — if not all — the games.

  

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